Scientists have found a new cure for winter flu epidemic that may soon come in the shape of a small lozenge, if research conducted on ferrets lives up to their expectations.
The research team from the University of Melbourne and the biopharmaceutical company, Immuron, conducted their study on ferrets because these mammals deal with influenza in a similar way to humans.
AdvertisementTrials on humans are due to begin late this year, but for now the focus remains on the ferrets, which have been having the backs of their throats bathed in antibodies.
"We had excellent success with mice. We could actually stop the infection as well as prevent it," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Grant Rawlin, a vet and Immuron's chief scientific officer, as saying.
"Influenza is a huge and largely unrecognised problem. What this treatment offers is ready-made antibodies. There's no delay in them working," said Prof Lorena Brown of the University of Melbourne's department of microbiology and immunology.
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